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Costa Rica Holidays and Celebrations

Ticos are happy people always looking for a reason to celebrate.  Some days during the year motivate us to feel even more cheerful and get together with our families and friends.  So, if you are planning your next trip keep reading and find out more about Costa Rica Holidays and how it will give you the opportunity to have more fun and learn more about our culture.

January

Season: High $$

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – dry, hot and windy | Caribbean coast – rainy.

Costa Rica Holidays and celebrations:

  • 1- New Year´s Day * Official Holiday *

Governmental offices and services like banks will be closed.

One of the busiest seasons, the country receives lots of tourists from all over the world but especially from US and Canada, Ticos also travel to the beaches and mountains.

Expect some crowds but also lots of activities in the touristic areas.

After this Holiday, usually on the 2nd or 3rd, expect busy roads and long drives returning to the city.

 

  • Fiestas de Palmares (Palmares Street Fair)

During 13 days of the year, usually during the second and third weeks of January, a town called Palmares located just 45 minutes from San José, becomes the center of celebration for the whole country.

The Fiestas include activities for everyone, from children´s festivals to concerts, bullring, horse parade and more.

Holidays in Costa Rica - Fiestas de Palmares

Fiesta de Palmares. Image by @FiestasPalmares2018

The second week of the month.

On the other side of the country, a town in the north Pacific coast called Santa Cruz also celebrates big with horse parades, bullfighting, concerts, folkloric events and more.

 

February

Season: High $$

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – dry, hot | Caribbean coast – hot with some rain.

Costa Rica Holidays and celebrations:

  • Puntarenas Carnival

On mid-February, the port city of Puntarenas, located on the central Pacific coast, celebrate like in many cities of the world two weeks of carnival.  Cultural activities, concerts, bullfighting, masquerades, street parades and sports events can be enjoyed in this city.  Don´t forget to try the famous “Churchill” at the “Paseo de los Turistas”

 

March

Season: High $$ / Peak during Holy week/Easter $$$

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – dry, very hot| Caribbean coast – hot with some rain.

Costa Rica Holidays and celebrations:

  • Boyero Day

For more than 20 years, the streets of the capital have filled with hundreds of colorful carts pulled by imposing oxen to celebrate the Boyero or Oxherd. The oxherding and the decoration of its carts were declared in 2005 by Unesco as World Cultural Heritage. Definitely a unique show you don’t want to miss.

Costa Rica Holidays - Oxcart

Boyero´s Day. Image by Escazú News

 

  • Transitarte

The streets of San José fill with art activities for two days.  Enjoy concerts, theater, art exhibits, dance, stand-up comedy, food and more.

  • Holy Week / Easter * Thursday and Friday: Official Holidays *

Governmental offices and services like banks will be closed.

Costa Rica is a religious country and this week is considered as the most important of the year, see more about all what you can experience during this week here

 

April

Season: High $$ / Peak during Holy week/Easter $$$

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – dry, hot and windy | Caribbean coast – hot with some rain.

Costa Rica Holidays and celebrations:

  • 11- Rivas Battle * Official Holiday *

Governmental offices and services like banks will be closed.

On this date, the heroic act of a young soldier called Juan Santamaría was celebrated, which allowed stopping the invasion of William Walker who had already taken Nicaragua but who wanted to extend his dominions to all of Central America and turn it into a slave empire.  Usually, the activities are carried out in the province of Alajuela and only include civic events by the schools.

  • FIA or International Arts Festival: during this week the arts take the scene in San José with lots of activities, see more at our blog post: Experiencing Art in Costa Rica

 

May

Season: Low $

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – a transitional month between the dry and rainy season | Caribbean coast – rainy.

Costa Rica Holidays and celebrations:

  • 1- Labor Day * Official Holiday *

Governmental offices and services like banks will be closed.

As in many countries of the world, this day commemorates the struggle for labor rights in honor of the martyrs of Chicago, trade unionists killed for their fight in favor of the eight-hour day.

 

June

Season: Low $

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – rainy. | Caribbean coast – rainy.

 

July

Season: High $$$

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – some rain but with the presence of two weeks of the called “little summer” | Caribbean coast – rainy.

Costa Rica Holidays and celebrations:

  • Mid-term vacations

In most schools and colleges of Costa Rica, between the end of June and the beginning of July, there are 15 days of vacation for their students. For this reason, families take the opportunity to travel to the beaches and mountains of the country, raising the tourist season.

  • 25 – Guanacaste Annexation * Official Holiday *

Governmental offices and services like banks will be closed.

During this holiday the city of Liberia celebrates for over a week with lots of activities, find more at our blog post: July 25, annexation of Guanacaste

 

August

Season: Low $$

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – rainy | Caribbean coast – rainy.

Costa Rica Holidays and celebrations:

  • 2 – Virgin of Los Angeles Celebration and “Romería”. * Official Holiday *

Governmental offices closed.

People from all over the country make a pilgrimage in thanksgiving to Our Lady of the Angels, patroness of the country. In one night, millions of people walk to the Basilica of Los Angeles in the province of Cartago, it is an impressive show moved by the faith of the Ticos.

Costa Rica Holidays Romería

Romería. Image by Costa Rica Star.

 

  • 15 – Mother´s Day * Official Holiday *

Governmental offices and services like banks will be closed.

Unlike most countries in the world, in Costa Rica, we celebrate mothers in August and it is a national holiday so that all families can devote themselves to spoiling their mothers and grandmothers. Generally, concerts and cultural events can be enjoyed and restaurants and hotels offer specials throughout the country.

 

 

September

Season: Low $$

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – rainy | Caribbean coast – generally dry with some showers.

Costa Rica Holidays and celebrations:

  • 15 – Independence of Costa Rica. * Official Holiday *

Governmental offices and services like banks will be closed.

In 1821, the General Captaincy of Guatemala, of which Costa Rica was a part, as well as the rest of Central America, decided to become independent from the Spanish rule. This day is celebrated throughout the country with three important events. On September 14 at 6 pm the whole country joins to sing the national anthem. Next, children from all over the country along with their parents join in parades through the streets with lanterns, a beautiful show with lots of light and creativity. On September 15 schools organize colorful parades with music bands and majorettes, painting white, blue and red all the streets throughout the country.

 

October

Season: Low $$

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – rainy | Caribbean coast – generally dry with some showers.

Costa Rica Holidays and celebrations:

  • 12 – Day of the Cultures * Official Holiday *

Governmental offices closed.

In Costa Rica, we do not celebrate the day of Christopher Columbus as in other countries, but we dedicate the day to recognize the ethnic diversity and the great contribution of these cultures to our country. On the Caribbean coast, in the city of Limón, this day is celebrated with many activities that include parades with “Comparsas”, concerts of Caribbean music, cultural events and much more.

Costa Rica Holidays Limon Carnival

Limón Carnivals. Image by La Nación

November

Season: Low $$

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – a transitional month between the rainy and dry season | Caribbean coast – rainy.

Costa Rica Holidays and celebrations:

  • Thanksgiving

Even though this is not a native Costa Rican holiday, the large American Community has accomplished to mark this celebration in the country´s calendar. If you are planning to visit our country for this season, don’t miss our blog post: Thanksgiving in Costa Rica.

 

December

Season: High and Peak in the last two weeks $$$

Weather: Pacific coast and central valley – dry | Caribbean coast – very rainy.

Costa Rica Holidays and celebrations:

  • 25- Christmas * Official Holiday *

In our country, families get together on Christmas eve for large dinners and open presents at midnight. On the 25th, some people still celebrate with a family lunch, however the main celebrations happen the night before.

There are many things to do around this time of the year in Costa Rica, and starting December 26th the touristic areas of the country welcome thousands of guests for the second most important season of the year.

  • Festival de la Luz and Zapote

Read more about all the activities you can enjoy in December in our blog post: How ticos celebrate the festive season

 

 

No matter when you are planning to visit our country, we know you will enjoy staying in one of our luxurious condos, immersing in nature and the warm welcome of Ticos, however it is always important to know what is going on to maximize the fun.

 

Share with us if you have experienced any of this Costa Rica holidays, which one is your favorite or which one would you like to enjoy. Send us also your questions!